The Truth About Cars » oakville The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 11:00:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » oakville Ford to Invest $700 Million to Possibly Build Fusions In Canada, While VW Puts $529 Million Into Brazil to Locally Build Audis and Golfs Tue, 17 Sep 2013 18:51:04 +0000 Ford Oakville, Ontario Assembly Plant

Ford Oakville, Ontario, Canada  Assembly Plant

The Toronto Star is reporting that Ford Motor Co. will soon announce a ~$700US million investment in it’s Oakville, Ontario plant, where it assembles the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX midsize crossovers. According to Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper, $135 million of that will come from the Ontario and Canadian governments, which recently divested some of their bailout related shares in General Motors. The investment by Ford follows commitments made to the Canadian Auto Workers, now under the banner of Unifor, to add 600 jobs to the Oakville facility.

The next generation Flex and MKX will share the CD4 platform with the Fusion and MKZ sedans. The investment means that Oakville will have the capability to build cars based on CD4 which raises the possibility that the plant may join Hermosillo, Mexico and Flat Rock Michigan in building FoMoCo’s midsize sedans. Ford recently added Fusion production at Flat Rock to increase supply of the car, which has been in short supply.

Automobile operations in Canada are jeopardized by the country’s current status as the world’s most expensive place to build cars. In addition to the Oakville plant, Ford operates two engine plants in Windsor, across the Detroit River from Dearborn.

To keep costs down, after the CAW ratified the current 4 year contract Ford offered 1,000 hourly workers incentives to retire. New hires to replace those retirees will start at a lower hourly pay rate and not reach the current full rate for 10 years.

Volkswagen Group Plant

Volkswagen Group Plant, Sao Jose dos Pinhais, Parana, Brazil 

Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Group plans to spend 1.2 billion reais ($529US million) in Brazil to restart local assembly of Audis and begin local production of the VW Golf, according to a spokesman for the Brazilian state of Parana.

Fifty million reais will go to expand VW’s factory at Sao Jose dos Pinhais in order to start assembly of Audi’s A3 compact sedan and Q5 compact SUV in 2015. A3 capacity is planned to be 26,000 units annually by 2018. The same factory will receive a 700 million real investment to prepare it to start building the latest Golf model.

Brazil’s federal government recently raised taxes on imported vehicles while offering tax incentives to automobile manufacturers that increased local investments. BMW had earlier announced a $267 million investment in a factory in the southern state of Santa Catarian, with a capacity of 30,000 units, starting production there in late 2014. Luxury sales in Brazil have increased due to rising wages for highly skilled professionals, persuading Audi to once again build cars locally. Audi had previously assembled A3s at the Parana plant from 1999 to 2006.

]]> 23
Canadian Government Launches $250 Million Auto “Innovation Fund” Fri, 04 Jan 2013 16:56:33 +0000

The Canadian government will put up $250 million as part of an “auto innovation fund”, a continuation of a 2008 program which the government claims led to over $1 billion in spending.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will make the announcement today at Ford’s Oakville plant – which happens to be looking for government money to help perform upgrades in anticipation of a new model being built at the plant.

The state of Canadian auto manufacturing seems to get bleaker as the days go on; Canada is said to be the most expensive place in the world to build a car, thanks in part to a strong Canadian dollar. The latest round of negotiations with the CAW did little to bring down labor costs, while CAW rank-and-file think the deal gave too many concessions to the auto makers. GM has consistently moved vehicle production out of their first-rate Oshawa assembly plant. In the last decade, only one plant, a Toyota facility, has been built in Canada – though others have been upgraded, no new real investment has been put in place. ¬†Ultimately, the $250 million on offer from the government likely won’t go very far given the needs of the OEMs and their many suppliers. But it’s value as a symbolic gesture make it worth noting.



]]> 28
Ford To Re-Hire 400 Laid Off Workers In Canada Fri, 30 Nov 2012 16:48:14 +0000

As part of its agreement with the CAW, Ford will open up 400 jobs to laid off workers from its Windsor and St. Thomas plants (aka the birthplace of our beloved Panther) – but with 885 potential applicants and 400 jobs, allocating them will be tricky.

The new jobs come as part of a third shift being added at Ford’s Oakville plant, which currently builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, among other vehicles. Oakville is in line to get a new “global” platform in the next few years, and the third shift will add needed manpower.

The Windsor Star reports that jobs will be given to interested parties based on seniority, but not everyone is eager to them them. St. Thomas and Windsor are located roughly 100 and 200 miles respectively from Oakville, and the commute involves the congested 401 highway. The cost of living in Oakville, an upscale suburb of Toronto, is also far higher than in the other two locales.

]]> 8